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zombieman

My HHN 2020 review....Roblox edition

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The following is my review of HHN 2020......Roblox edition.

 

Before I begin, I need to state that I have zero idea about the technology behind this, so I'm sure I'll be making tons of mistakes.  Bear with my noobidity.

 

I really had never heard of this until the virtual meetup in September.  I kept seeing something like this in my Twitter timeline:

 

What the hell is this?  Turns out it's an online version of HHN.  You can walk through a damn close representation of Universal, see HHN shows, go on Universal rides(!), and go through HHN houses.  Roblox is a very low resolution real time environment (think Minecraft, but I think it's quite a bit better).  People have created thousands of Roblox lands.

 

But from what I understand, Universal actually owns the content for Roblox HHN (someone clarify if I'm wrong).

 

Here's what you can experience at this event:

 

Houses

  • Stranger Things
  • Ghostbusters
  • Killer Klowns
  • Slaughter Sinema
  • Graveyard Madness (yes, it's Graveyard Games)
  • Giggles & Gore
  • Sometimes a bonus house - last weekend they had a supposedly one-weekend-only Jack Presents: Monsters & Mayhem

 

Scarezones

  • Anarch-Cade
  • Rob Zombie
  • Cyberscream
  • Foresaken Bayou
  • Vamp 85: New Years Eve

 

Shows

  • Jack's Nightmare in the Sky (think Marathon of Mayhem)
  • Ball Drop 1985
  • Junkyard Rave
  • Potion Sacrifice

 

Rides

  • Rip Ride Rockit
  • Hulk
  • Dr Doom Fearfall
  • Mummy
  • Fast & Furious
  • The Walking Dead attraction
  • There may be others; I forget

 

What the experience is like:

The park is kinda laid out like Orlando and a bit like Hollywood, too.  After all, they have The Walking Dead Attraction.  The entrance really looks more like Hollywood.  There are things that don't exist in either park as we know them - like "Cyberland" that I guess is supposed to be like SuperHero Island without the IP.  Or the Hill Valley courthouse in the middle of the park.  But none of that really matters for HHN.  There is not a IOA and USO; it's just one big park.  There are definitely pieces missing; it is not meant to be a carbon copy of the park.

 

Keep in mind you can visit the park outside of HHN and it will be daytime and minus the Halloween decor.  Visiting the park outside HHN is FREE.  But there are lines for the rides (more on that later).

 

You do see other people walking around the park.  These are customers just like you.  They go through the houses and ride the rides just like you.  They can block your view but you can pass through them like a ghost.  The place can be packed or it can be a ghost town.

 

Roblox HHN is only open on the dates and times that HHN 2020 would have been open.  It's not a 24/7 thing.

 

You need to buy a ticket to get in and there are lines.  The lines serve to slow you down.  Even if there is no one in line, you need to navigate the loooong queue.  But of course you can buy an Express pass...  There is a separate entrance for EP and it walks you through the short queue; no need to navigate.

The cost is not bad at all, especially for what you get:

1 night Ticket = 10 Robux

1 night Ticket+Express Pass = 100 Robux

Season pass+Express = 400 Robux

400 Robux is $4.99

So for just $5 you can attend every night and not experience have any lines.  C'mon, Man!  You can't get a better deal than that.

Then again a single night ticket is, what, TEN CENTS?!?   The thing is the fewest number of Robux you can buy is 400, so you might as well just buy the Season Pass+Express.

For daytime, they have a similar price structure - for Express Pass.  Admission is free.

 

Houses

You will definitely recognize most of these from your live walkthrus.  In many cases they were so accurate that I automatically knew which way I had to turn to continue.  Interesting story:  I walked through Jack Presents with my daughter.  It was a best-of house and a portion was The Exorcist.  My daughter had never been in that house but I had a ton of times.  Even though it was our first time through virtually, when we got to the first hallway I stopped and told her "In Orlando this entire wall was a huge scrim where the walls disappear and a scene is revealed beyond".  I took a few steps and WHAMMO!  There was Pazuzu.

The scares are primarily drop panels and boo holes.  You never know where they will happen but it is the same from run to run.

The sound is excellent, and the scares are more fun than scary.

There are no attendants to tell you to move along, although other guests may tell you to move it.  Again, you're not blocking them, but they see someone just standing there.

I think that scares are triggered by someone being in proximity to a sensor.  If you just stand there waiting for the same scare to happen, it won't.  But the person behind you won't see it because you are just standing there.

For this reason, before you enter the house you will see a countdown timer on the wall.  The intent is to have people self-pulse, but nothing seems to enforce it.  It's an honor system.  As in real life, people can be jerks and make the experience worse for others.

Also, there is no "run" vs "walk", so unless someone stops in the house you won't catch up with anyone.

 

As for the house themes, they are not intended to be full recreations, although you will recognize many key elements.  Parts are quite different than you will remember, and there are some new scenes that did not appear in the real houses.  The virtual houses are about 1/2-3/4 the length of the real houses.

 

Oddly, some names are slightly modified from the real house.  Take Slaughter Sinema - same house name, but not the same fake movie titles.  I'd love to know the reason behind it.  And, yes, you can hang around the front of the house and listen to the queue audio, but no video.

 

Scarezones 

The scareactors roam in their area, but when you get in a certain proximity to a scareactor, they come after you fast.  Unlike the houses, if you stand in the middle of the scarezone, monsters will keep coming up to you for the scare.

They have some pretty cool scares hidden in the zones.

The music changes from zone to zone

 

Shows  

There are mini shows every few minutes just like HHN.  They are only a minute or so long.  These are in some scarezones.  There are park directories showing wait times and show times.  The main show is in the lagoon and lasts about 10 minutes.  It's pretty cool, gotta say.  It felt a lot like Marathon of Mayhem.

Sometimes you will hear an announcement over the loudspeaker saying that a show is about to begin.

The Ball drop show happens at the top of every hour, just as it did in Orlando.

Now this is a weird one.... for the Lagoon show, they have a normal viewing area and a VIP viewing area (a bit higher, just like at the real lagoon).  And the VIP viewing area is a Robux upcharge.  I'd normally see this as a total money grab, but in these times, I think anything is on the table if it helps someone behind the scenes.

 

Rides 

Just like any other virtual ride you've done before.  But Hulk is comically fast while Rip Ride Rockit is a faithful recreation.  Good news - no metal detector at Hulk!

 

Controls  

I first tried this on my iPad.  The controls absolutely SUCK.  There's a virtual joystick for movement, but you need to use two fingers to turn.  I couldn't figure it out.

So then I loaded it on my PC (got to use same account, so only one purchase across platforms), and the controls were intuitive.  Simple arrow keys do the trick.  You can use the mouse to adjust camera level and zoom.

 

Food and Drink and costumes 

Of course there are concession stands where you can buy churros and the like.  They even had the Today Cafe.  They cost "Unibux", which are cheaper than the Robux.  But I have no idea what the purpose is of buying any "food" so I didn't.  Tons of people walking around in costumes, but I didn't buy any of that either.    Of course, you buy it at the virtual Universal Store in the virtual park.  Evidently you can buy "horror-ish" outfits but you cannot pretend to be a Scareactor because you can't "lunge" at people.  Good move on their part.  Another good move - there is no ability to punch a scareactor or drink too much and vomit.

 

 

Verdict

for 5 freakin' bucks, you get a whole lot of entertainment.  Zero reason not to do this.  10 out of 10.  

Or just spend $1.10 for one night and an Express pass.   Nah!  Just go for the season pass!

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I guess they have a bonus house every week.  It was Halloween 2 last week and will be The Shining for the final weekend.

Gotta say again how much fun it has been.  Would much rather be in Orlando, but at least I got to (kind of) experience HHN and air conditioning at the same time.

 

By the way, this weekend you can get into the "event" for FREE.  That's right, you can save a whole $1.10!

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I'd MUCH rather be walking through the Beetlejuice house right now, but since I'm stuck in California, the Roblox version of The Shining is better than nothing.

 

BTW, we had NO trick or treaters at all yesterday.  A lot of nearby houses were decked out.  No trick or treaters.

What a miserable Halloween.

 

Still debating whether to do my home light show this year...

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